Ways to make backup copies of your website (How to protect your website files from loss)

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  • January 11, 2024
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Making backup copies of your website is considered one of the most important operations that you must perform to secure it and preserve its contents from loss.

This process does not require great technical knowledge. In other words, if you created your website yourself, making a backup copy of it will not be difficult for you.

In this article, we will introduce you to the most important methods that can be relied upon to make backup copies of your site and when you should do so.

Ways to make backup copies of your site

1. Make backup copies of your site manually yourself

This is done through a program that uses the File Transfer Protocol, or FTP for short, such as:

Download one of the previous programs and then create a connection between your computer and your site’s hosting. This requires knowledge of the following:

  • Your website’s hosting link or Hostname.
  • Your username.
  • password
  • Port or Port.

You can obtain this data through the hosting control panel that you rely on to host your site.

After the connection is established and successful, your entire site files will appear to you on the program you used.

You can now copy the entire contents of your site or select the files you want to create backup copies of, copy them, and then store them.

The backup copy of your site is stored using this method on the storage unit attached to your computer.

2. Through your website’s hosting

This is done through the control panel or cPanel that you provide Hosting company Which you use to host your site.

It is true that each hosting company provides a different control panel, but they all provide the ability to back up and restore your site.

Some companies provide the ability to back up your site through a file manager tool.

This tool enables you to view the contents of your site, compress or copy them, download them to your computer and restore them later.

There are other companies that provide special tools to make a backup copy of your site, or Backup tools to create these copies automatically.

Also, through the control panel, you can access the control panel for your site’s database or phpMyAdmin.

Through this panel, you can easily copy the data saved in your site’s databases and restore it again later.

Finally, you can easily find a way to back up your site via the hosting you are using by searching on the hosting site itself, or by contacting customer service.

3. Via WordPress plugins

You can count on WordPress plugins To back up your site:

The previous additions enable you to back up your site yourself or set it to do it automatically for you.

These tools also enable you to choose when to back up your site and the data you want to copy (only the site, its database only, or both).

These plugins keep backups of your site on a cloud storage service like Google Drive.

You can choose the cloud storage service that is right for you or choose none and store the backup copy of your site on your computer.

Finally, the process of restoring a backup copy of your site is the opposite of the process of backing it up.

For example, in the manual method, instead of downloading the backup copy to your own storage space, you will upload it manually via file transfer programs.

Options for storing your backup copy of your site

1. On your own storage space

You can store backups of your site on your computer, although there are several points to be aware of when doing so:

a) Storage unit type

Although storing a backup copy of a site on a removable hard disk or HDD is not recommended in some cases, removable or mechanical storage disks take longer to read and write files.

This will not cause you major problems if the size of the backup copy of your site is small or medium, but if the size of your site is large, it will take a long time when you restore or upload this copy.

Therefore, experts advise storing backup copies of large sites on fixed storage disks or SSDs.

This type of disk is characterized by its speed in reading and writing files, which speeds up the process of restoring website backups.

b) Store backup copies of your site on a separate disk

It is preferable to allocate a portable external storage unit to store backup copies of your website. This protects these copies from dangers that may infect your computer, such as exposure to virus attacks or damage due to electrical faults.

You can also store backups of your site on optical storage or a Flash Drive.

Storing these copies on mobile units will enable you to easily retrieve them from anywhere or any computer, and this is important in the process of securing websites in general.

2. Cloud storage services

There are several companies that provide services Cloud storage It can be relied upon to save and store backup copies of your site, the most important of which are:

You can manually store backup copies of your website on one of the previous services in the same way as saving files and images on them.

You can also link WordPress plugins to your accounts on these services so that backups of your site are automatically stored there.

When should you back up your site?

The timing of making a backup copy of sites varies according to their nature. For example, sites that undergo daily changes or updates, such as adding new content, must be backed up by their owners on a daily basis.

This is different with sites whose content changes over longer periods, such as a week or a month. The owners of these sites make a backup copy of them when they see that they have made many modifications and updates to their sites since the last time a backup copy was made.

The goal of making a backup copy of any site is to save it in its closest form. This way, site owners can restore it in the event of problems with their sites without losing all the updates and new content they have added.

In general, technology experts and experienced website owners advise making a backup copy of your site at the following times:

1. Daily: If your site changes on a daily basis, you should back it up daily.

2. Weekly: If you have a blog or publish new content on your site every few days, it is a good idea to back up your site once a week.

3. Monthly: Technical experts advise making backup copies of your site on a monthly basis, regardless of the rate at which content is published or the rate of change it undergoes.

In other words, you can make a backup copy on a monthly basis, in addition to the copies that you make at other times, whether daily or weekly.

This is because the monthly version will be more comprehensive and comprehensive than the other versions, and it may also be more stable than them.

4. Before undertaking any major challenges: Make backup copies of your site if you plan to make any major update or change to it.

These changes may include changing the website template or the hosting company that it relies on to store its files, or any other radical change.

Tips to follow when backing up your site

1. Automate and schedule the backup process

Set a regular schedule to create backup copies of your site. It is preferable to make backup copies of your site at a rate that is proportional to the changes that occur to it and do not adhere to a general frequency.

You can make a backup copy of your site every two or three days, or at any time that suits its size and the nature of its content.

Also, backing up your site manually may be a tiring process, so try to automate this process to save time and effort.

NB: Most good hosting companies provide the service of backing up your site on a daily basis… some of them provide it for free and others provide it as a side service at a special cost.

2. Keep multiple backups and test them

Create several backup copies of your site and keep them in a safe place. For example, you can create backup copies of your site and save one of them on a cloud service, another on a mobile storage unit, and a third on your device in this way. If one of them is lost, you will find a replacement for it.

Also check and test your backups regularly to ensure they are intact and your site can be successfully restored if necessary.

Finally, compress your site backups to save storage space and save time when creating and restoring backups.

3. Manual backups of important files and database

Other than copying the essential files of the site, create manual backups of other important files.

This includes templates and any plugins you have added to your site. Also, make a backup copy of your site’s database if it relies on a database.

4. Pay attention to safety and insurance standards

If you compress and encrypt your site backups, make sure that the decryption or compression data is saved in a safe place.

In general, it is preferable to save any data related to your site manually (on a piece of paper or a special note) and not in digital form or on a computer, for example.

This protects this data from being stolen if the devices it is recorded on are hacked or even stolen.

5. Make sure to update your site system and its add-ons

Make sure to update your website system and the applications and add-ons that you have installed on it regularly. This includes installing security updates released by the companies that develop the website system or add-ons that they release to fill the software vulnerabilities found in them.

Also, keep track of the versions of the programs and plugins that you use on your site and make sure that you are installing stable updates for them.

Some applications release unstable updates that are best avoided. Also, look at user reviews on the updates before installing them.

6. Verify the integrity of backups

Verify the integrity of your site backups on a regular basis by restoring them in a test environment.

This means trying it out on a test site, for example, and making sure you can rely on it to restore your site.

This helps ensure that your backups are complete and reliable should your site ever encounter a situation that requires them to be used.

7. Define a backup retention policy

Set a policy to keep backups of your site for a specific period. This means deleting copies that are older than a certain period.

For example, you can keep backup copies of your site that were created in the past six months and delete all copies prior to this period.

Note that keeping many backup copies of your site is expensive because it requires storage space, especially if the size of these copies is large.

8. Write down the details of your site backups

Write down all the details of all the backups of your site. Also, give more attention to the backups that were created before major updates were made to your site and write down when these copies were created, why they were created, and the nature of the updates for which they were created.

Conclusion

In this article, we tried to guide you to ways to make backup copies of your site and the most appropriate times to do so based on its nature.

We know that backing up your site may be cumbersome or even repetitive and monotonous, but it is important and necessary to preserve your effort and time.

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